Ariadne's Tribe: Minoan Spirituality for the Modern World

Walk the sacred labyrinth with Ariadne, the Minotaur, the Great Mothers, Dionysus, and the rest of the Minoan family of deities. Ariadne's Tribe is an independent spiritual tradition that brings the deities of the ancient Minoans alive in the modern world. We're a revivalist tradition, not a reconstructionist one. We rely heavily on shared gnosis and the practical realities of Paganism in the modern world. Ariadne's thread reaches across the millennia to connect us with the divine. Will you follow where it leads?

Find out all about Ariadne's Tribe at ariadnestribe.com. We're an inclusive, welcoming tradition, open to all who share our love for the Minoan deities and respect for our fellow human beings.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Login
    Login Login form

Minoan Star Maps

In Ariadne's Tribe, our mythos is intricately interwoven with our sacred calendar. This connects the stories of the deities with the movement of celestial objects, from the Sun and Moon to the planets and stars. When we look up in the night sky, we see those stories spread out in sparkling array above us.

The Tribe mythos is organized into micropantheons, with each small group of deities having their own story cycles that are reflected in the stars. Micropantheons have been around in the Mediterranean since at least the Bronze Age, possibly earlier, so it's likely the Minoans had multiple ways of viewing the constellations depending on which deities their personal spiritual practice revolved around.

I recommend checking out the calendar and deity links in the first paragraph if you're not already familiar with our mythos so you'll have the appropriate context for the star maps I've described below. Then, the next time you look up at the night sky, you'll have another set of stories to contemplate. I'll describe our Minoan star map in terms of the standard modern constellations recognized by the International Astronomical Union.

Ariadne’s Mythic Cycle: The constellation Orion is Ariadne's Labrys, with the star Sirius as the Jewel on the end of the Labrys’s handle. The Labrys rises in the autumn around the time the rainy season gets underway, roughly at Autumn Equinox, when Ariadne rises from the Underworld with the first green sprouts in the fields. It disappears around harvest time, roughly at Spring Equinox, when Ariadne “dies” with the grain crop and returns to the Underworld. The Mysteries begin with the heliacal rising of the star Arcturus, in the constellation of Boötes, and end with the heliacal rising of the star Spica, in the constellation of Virgo. The  constellation Ophiucus, surrounded by Serpens, is the image of Ariadne as the Snake Goddess, holding the snakes that protect the grain stores from rodents. Corona Borealis is Ariadne’s necklace, necklaces being significant aspects of goddess iconography around the Mediterranean and Old Europe, going well back into the Neolithic era. 

The Horned Ones (cattle): Taurus is our god Tauros Asterion; the Pleiades are the cows in his sacred herd. Orion is the Cattle-Master, the one who guards and tends the herd. And that's not his sword <wink>. The constellation Gemini is the Bull-Leapers: Our deities Thaena and Sydaili are the stars Alpha and Beta Geminorum; Eshuumna (the Unseen Rainbow) is the dark space between them. Between wisdom and joy lies the rainbow. This triplicity of deities guards the northern gate to the Underworld, the place where the Milky Way crosses the ecliptic between Gemini and Taurus.

The Serpent Mother: Ophiuchus plus Serpens is the Snake Goddess holding her snake(s), our favorite representation of the Serpent Mother.

The Sailors: Sailing and ships were a major aspect of the Minoan culture. The people who went to sea every year would have had their own calendar, specific to the annual rhythm of their activities. They probably also had their own set of meanings for the stars. The heliacal rising and setting of the Pleiades mark the opening of the sailing season (The Blessing of the Ships) and the closing (Harbor Home). In the Bronze Age, these events would have happened in early May and early October. The asterism the Pleiades is the Bee Swarm; bee swarming season is at its height at the Blessing of the Ships in mid-May. The constellation Pegasus is The Sail – it’s the square shape that sails were made in during the Bronze Age. 

The Sun-Mother: The constellation Scorpio is Therasia’s griffin, guarding the southern gate to the Underworld, where the Milky Way crosses the ecliptic between Scorpio and Sagittarius.

The next time you look up into the night sky, see how many of the Minoan deities and their stories you can find!

Last modified on
Laura Perry is a priestess and creator who works magic with words, paint, ink, music, textiles, and herbs. She's the founder and Temple Mom of Ariadne's Tribe, an inclusive Minoan spiritual tradition. When she's not busy drawing and writing, you can find her in the garden or giving living history demonstrations at local historic sites.

Comments

Additional information